A new era is beginning. Both the new general manager, Tom Telesco and head coach, Mike McCoy are only 40 years old. Dean Spanos has made a complete heel turn, proving he may indeed care about the fans. Telesco will get to work as soon as free agency starts, where he'll look to build a strong offensive unit around quarterback Philip Rivers.
Rivers has been the Chargers' franchise player ever since LaDainian Tomlinson began declining and ended up being released. In 2009 and 2010, Rivers had two of the best seasons of his career. In 2009, Philip Rivers passed for 4,254 yards for 28 touchdowns with just nine interceptions. Rivers followed up his stellar year with an even better year in 2010. He finished with 4,710 yards for 30 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.
In those two seasons, Philip Rivers had a combined 29 turnovers. In the past two years, he's had 47 turnovers. He was also sacked a whopping 49 times this season. 2012 was the first year Rivers didn't throw for 4,000 yards or more since 2007, falling short by nearly 400 yards.
Nevertheless, Rivers' decision-making the past few seasons has been very poor. Many of his mistakes simply came from taking risks and trying to do too much. The play that clearly represents this is his interception against the Buccaneers when Rivers scrambled out of the pocket and looked as if he was just going to throw the ball away, when instead, he throws the ball directly to Tampa Bay's Leonard Johnson, who returned it 83 yards for a pick-six.
2013 will be a crucial year for Philip Rivers. He'll come into training camp with many doubters, seeing that some people already have no faith in him any more.
On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being panic and 1 being calm, the Chargers should be around a 4 with Philip Rivers as of now. Until Telesco is surrounds No. 17 again with a front line to protect him, as well as a solid run game and healthy receivers, all units in which San Diego has seen key departures in the last few years, Rivers cannot be at fault.
Also, remember that Rivers must learn a new system this season, so his game might not click right away to begin the year. If Rivers regains confidence in his team and is protected, we will witness the player from 2009 and 2010.